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The unexpected element of Coldnote
After kicking off the Clearwater's Performances at the Passage concert series Thursday, the local funk/soul brothers take on three shows across North Kitsap this weekend, and then, maybe, the world.
As a musician, Caine had done Brooklyn.
He'd already done Florida too, when he came to Seattle in search of something new.
He found that something one night in an unlikely time and an unlikely duo: at Bremerton's Manette Saloon in open mic night regulars Graham Parsons and Dave Thomas — on guitar and drums, respectively. They were in-between projects, looking for people to jam with — when Caine stepped to the mic with an a capella soul song.
"I would say straight up, when they came to me and said they wanted to play together, I'll be straight up, I thought 'what are these bunch of white boys gonna play for me?'" Caine said in his soulful, matter-of-fact dialect, as the rest of the band laughed. "Then I get up there and I hear the guys play, and I was floored by them. They're very talented brothers, you know, so I was like, OK, let me show a flip side to this music."
And thus, Coldnote, was created.
The relationship was instantly symbiotic. Caine's voice complimented the then-North Kitsap based duo's instrumentals, and broadened their musical range.
They played three songs on the spot that evening, Caine said. One of the songs, "Say What You Need," is now, four years later, a Coldnote staple. It's one of about 10 songs slated for the band's debut album, which will be released this summer.
"That was an instrumental song that we had worked out," Parsons recalled from that first night. "It was some super sexy r&b (stuff) that we had nothing to do with, because who are you going to play r&b with in North Kitsap? It took this dude coming out from Brooklyn."
With the unlikely bond forged between this soulful songster from Brooklyn and a band of white boys from the Northwest, Coldnote played local venues like the Manette and the Poulsbo venues Magnolia Cafe and Treehouse Lounge — where they'd meet their second guitarist James Redfern — along with Kingston's the Filling Station and spots on the local summer festival circuit.
"Nobody was really doing the soul/blues/funk thing in North Kitsap," Parsons noted. "It was rock bands, young kids doing stuff, or old people doing blues music. Nobody was doing the hybrid of r&b."
People began to take notice — at dance parties in the close quarters of the Filling Station or on outdoor stages at Poulsbo's Viking Fest or Silverdale's Whaling Days. The band made its first foray to Seattle last fall for a Battle of the Bands at Studio Seven, from which they took home top honors out of some 60 contestants.
And they've been back to the Emerald City on a fairly regular basis ever since — playing the Nectar Lounge in Fremont, with dates slated for later this summer at the Showbox and Hempfest.
They're headed up to Bellingham for a show at the Wild Buffalo July 10.
They play Jazzbones in Tacoma July 15.
This weekend, Coldnote will be playing four shows in three days across the North End: Thursday in Suquamish, kicking off the Clearwater Casino's outdoor concert series Performances at the Passage; Friday, at the Portside Pub for Third of July in downtown Poulsbo; a set on the main stage at Kingston's Fourth of July celebration Saturday afternoon and closing it down later that night at the Filling Station, following the fireworks.
"It's a bold difference playing in front of your friends and family, people that you know will love you regardless, and then playing in front of people you don't know to see if they like it too," Parsons said of playing Seattle versus Kitsap.
"It's two different fields to play in," Caine added. "And I love playing in both."
Find more Coldnote at www.coldnote.com.